Winter/Build training for the overtrainer

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by KWalker, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. KWalker

    KWalker New Member

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    So this will be a long post but bare with me here.

    I'm a cat 4 male road racer in the US and since I'm finally spending a full season in the country I'm trying to be smarter about next race season and get my 3 upgrade as early as possible and hopefully get enough points to make it to the 2's. My best FTP this season was 340 watts @70kg, my best 5 second was 1512 watts @72kg, and best 1 minute is 652 watts @70kg. So, I have a 4.85 w/kg threshold, a 21 w/kg sprint, and a 9.31 w/kg 1 minute power output. Needless to say I have never done a single sprint workout and only a handful of workouts dedicated at improving my L6 power.

    Here was last season for me:
    Jan-3rd week of March. I was snowed in and hit the trainer for 10 hours a week give or take. It was almost all at tempo or threshold and I used various forms of the 2x20, 1x10, etc. Nothing revolutionary here.

    3rd week of March-3rd week of May: Got on the road and increased my hours to between 12 and 16 a week depending on racing and where I was at in training. During the last week in March I traveled and did a stage race and two crits in one week (lots of TSS). I did well in the crits, very well in the prologue, and mediocre in the road race. My FTP at this time was 315 watts at 74kg. It had improved from my previous season best of 295 watts. I began to do L5 workouts and upped my base. Big mistake. Got caught ramping my TSS up too high too fast and I was too burned out to finish my last race. I felt strong towards the end of the season, but had some mishaps with crashes and mechanicals.

    My biggest problem was not my FTP during a 20 minute test (which I got quite good at), but with my overall aerobic endurance. I've always had decent anaerobic endurance, but I was fading quite a bit at the end of road races. All the literature suggested that I should be doing some L5/L6 work during this period, so I did, and it ended up with too much volume and too much intensity and thus too much TSS too fast.

    Took a week off in May, moved to Europe. Spent my summer doing LOTs of training aimed at improving my base. I did this by trying a bottom up approach instead of doing normal 2x20s. Long story short, I got great at doing 2x20s, but my FTP plateau'd big time. I started to do longer intervals at a slightly lower percentage of FTP, and much, much more tempo. In addition I gradually increased my amount of L2 work and amount of hours. It worked well, and I ended up with an FTP of 345 and I lost some weight and got down to 70kg @ 6 foot 1. My 1 minute stayed about the same, but I didn't get to test my 5 second. I also begun to train more by feel and PE than strictly by power, but I still monitored all of it. On average, I did one dedicated L4 interval workout per week usually doing 30 minute intervals on a local climb, and one 1 hour interval at a sweet spot pace for what amounted to essentially a 1 hour tt effort on rolling terrain. The other days were primarily L2 and I did a longer L2/Tempo ride on the weekend that usually amounted to 2 hours of tempo. I stopped doing L1 recovery rides and just took days off. Weekly hours ranged from 12 to 18 hours. I also experimented quite a bit with over/under intervals, which worked well.

    So around mid-August I got the chance to do some touring of the Alps. In order to prepare for this I dropped my weekly hour of power session, and increased my L2 and L3 volume. I did 3 weeks of touring usually doing a sequence of 6 hours on day 1, 7 to 8 hours on day 2, 5 to 6 hours on day 3, and 4 hours on day 4. Day 5 was off, 6 was a spin, 7 was off and then I started back up again. I'd basically ride at L2 and do the climbs at tempo/threshold. You try doing the Colombiere at 200 watts, its just not possible.

    So, I got overtrained again. Its expected. My CTL went from 106 to 140 during this 3 week time period because of the many rides in the 350 to 500 TSS range. Yes, when you do 3 cat 1 and 1 HC climb in a day you can rack quite a bit of TSS.

    I then took a week off and moved back to the US. I began to train for cross and lets just say I don't think I ever really recovered. My CTL has finally dropped to right around 100, but my TSB is screwy and my results aren't too great. I, like my team mates, feel absolutely dead and have 0 energy for training or racing.

    This weekend is my last weekend of racing (2 races) and then I have the chance to take time off/do base/rebuild.

    So, I basically spent May through the end of September building up my FTP and accumulating an absurd amount of base miles. 26 hours a week in the Alps should help me with the problem I had last year, but there is the whole part about losing fitness over the winter. I live in an area with disgusting weather, so there is no guarantee about how often or how consistently I can get on the road this year. I am going on vacation to somewhere drier for 15 days in December and I was hoping to use that to start doing L2/L3 miles. I will most likely have to do a lot of trainer workouts again this winter and my first race is in March again.

    So here are my priorities. My vacation is in a month, and 3 weeks from my last races. My CTL is sitting at about 100 right now. Looking back at my workout notes my best training rides, increases in FTP, and anecdotal performance evidence came when I was at a CTL of 88 to 120, with 120 being where my performance started to deteriorate fast and I ended up in a hole yet again. My main goal with the next month or so is to let my CTL drop fairly low again, at least to below 80 and then slowly and more incrementally ramp it up over my build period again.

    My problem is that I don't know how to do this while not overdoing things. The 2x20s seemed to help me maintain shape or get in slightly better shape over the winter, but didn't fix the 'problems' I had racing. I'd like to keep some semblance of fitness, but need at least a week off the bike to get my motivation and desire back. I also won't be able to put in the kind of time I was this summer in terms of accumulating base. I would say that 10 to 13 hours is the max I would need to do, but that many of the workouts I did with this many hours last summer wouldn't be possible on the trainer with the same number of days and duration of workouts.

    So here are my general questions based on all of this together:
    1. Seeing as how I had great gains from training at tempo, and doing longer sweet spot intervals it would seem that I should utilize those once again. My base period in December isn't too long so I'd think that it makes the most sense to accumulate time at L2/L3 and maybe some SST before moving on to building on the trainer at SST/L4, however, my more limited time makes it seem as if I should perhaps start doing L4 in December seeing as how I might not have a true base period. Yes, I have read the whole LSD vs. SST debate, but seeing as how a combo of the two helped me before I don't think its wise to jump squarely into either camp. I didn't do well with just SST, but doing a huge amount of LSD also got me into a similar hole.

    2. I'm going to be focusing on short, punchy road races next season and lots of crits. Most of the races where I live do not have any sustained climbs and must stuff is short and very anaerobic. I spent very little time at threshold during these races last year and with my threshold already at a decent level for my category, it seems like I would be better off focusing on a. spending more time racing once the season starts, b. doing more anaerobic endurance and filling the rest of my time with L2/L3 work, and c. that I might want to be more careful with my focused training to avoid burnout. 5 to 6 weeks of L5/L6 work cooked me last year and this cross season, so I'm unsure of how/when to try and ramp this up so my training is specific for my races, but also so that I can race longer this season without having to take such extended breaks midway through. I am almost considering just doing a very basic build and racing into better anaerobic shape once the season starts, but thats another topic altogether.

    So, based on all of this, I need help figuring out how to structure my base/build so that I:
    1. Can fit in quite a bit of whats worked in the past.
    2. Make sure to keep my CTL in an ideal range so that I can utilize my first races towards ramping it up and then procede to race in that ideal zone.
    3. Not lose fitness.
    4. Have the time off to mentally and physically recover.
    5. Do something useful, but not too strenuous with my two weeks in December and managing it so that it transitions nicely into the build period I am most likely stuck with.
    6. Figure out a way to work on my limiters without resorting to the 2x20s and stuff that didn't work so well before.
    7. Train specific race qualities.

    Any suggestions?
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Those are some good numbers you're putting up. Just a couple of things that spring to mind.

    -Try an actual one hour test rather than nailing a 20 minute test and extrapolating FTP from that. Do it in race position.

    -If you're a Cat4 then it'd be fairly safe to assume that your longer races are in the 50 to 60 mile range - so 2.5 hours max. With the volume of work and stated FTP I'd say that it's not your aerobic endurance that's letting you down here and with that 1 minute power, 625watts is more than handy enough for Cat4, it's probably not single-effort power woes either. It could well be nutritional (are you eating/drinking enough), positional (do you do spend more time in the drops when racing than training?) or inability to deal with repetative hard efforts (in which case some shorter intervals with short rests to mimic the efforts where you're fading - examine your power file and see what the deal is there)

    -IF your goal is to get to Cat2 then 12 to 16 hours a week may be in order.

    You can do the Colombiere at 200 watts - but you'd need silly low gearing to get up the Joux-Plane at that power output.
     
  3. JibberJim

    JibberJim Member

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    I don't know about US situation, but 9 w/kg in the ~1minute region, particularly if you're not experienced at saving energy in the pack (which sounds likely from reading) will often leave you struggling in races where definining moments are of that sort of duration, I have a similarly relatively weak 1 minute - particularly repeated and am constantly relying on 5 minute power to keep me in contention in a number of races.

    But the real race problem as described is the fading a lot at the end, despite the massive volume - 140 CTL despite what possibly may be an over-estimated FTP if it's extrapolated from 20 all the time) It could of course be underestimated which would make CTL higher, but then he'd be pushing 5w/kg at FTP which should be more than enough to make any selection purely as a diesel in lower cat racing. Is much more suggestive of a tactics problem - wasting energy pulling the bunch around or wasting energy through poor positioning or bad attacks or something. But it doesn't sound fitness related.

    As to specific advice on the questions - avoiding burnout appears to be a particularly individual thing, indeed burnout itself is something which appears to only have a personal definition. What I would actually say is your volume appears to be extremely high, and I'd question why.
     
  4. KWalker

    KWalker New Member

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    My FTP was done with a critical power 20 minute and 5 minute test as well as analyzing an all out 1 hour effort up two alpine climbs. I was regularly holding around 300 to 305 watts during my 1 hour tempo intervals, which puts me damn near close to 90% of FTP. I need to make the distinction not that I got good at testing well, but that I got really good at doing that interval format in training and felt like it wasn't race specific and that I got better at doing the intervals than I did at raising my threshold. What seemed to raise my threshold was a variety of different kinds of longer and more sustained efforts as well as efforts that produced a change in pace- doing TT efforts on rolling terrain with a specific NP target, doing over/under intervals, doing longer threshold intervals on climbs and that type of stuff.

    Also, according to the charts 9 w/kg 1 minute is still good and I know that my sprint output is pretty good too. I was thinking, like you said, that my weak link might be my ability to repeat such efforts over and over. I wanted to train this and target this this season, but it seems like burnout potential is highest at these intensities and, given my history of burning out, I need to be careful with when I introduce them and how. Also, my FTP is not bad for someone of my level, but its nothing crazy either. I noticed that the races in my area don't usually use this intensity. It seems that general pack riding is around low L2, kicks up to tempo during harder pulls, and then goes straight to L6 for climbs and attacks. I spent very little time at threshold in races last year except while on breaks. Races are usually won on breaks or bunch sprints here so it makes it so I have two very different specific things to train for. So, I will definitely want to somehow at least keep training my threshold because it can be useful for race-winning moves, but doing it over the winter while on the trainer shouldn't be the only way I can do it.

    I'm not sure if I will be racing with a powermeter this year, but I luckily have TSS calculations for almost every type of work and guesstimating based on Friel's table seems to be very accurate. I know I need a lower ramp rate, but I also want to know how low I should let TSS dip before re-training. If I take 1.5 weeks off starting a week from now I can get down to about 71 TSS. 3 weeks of doing LSD/Tempo/limited LT base miles will definitely ramp that up fairly fast, but the subsequent trainer workouts will produce a lower ATL and even it out in the long run I'm guessing.

    Also, the race season around here is pretty packed. Starting on March 19th we have almost two races per weekend- usually a RR and a crit the next day. Stage races start in late May (of which there are 2 big ones and one small one) and racing runs until regionals in late August. So, I'm guessing that given my history a dual peak might make more sense right? If my goal is to get upgrade points I have to race and race often to maximize my chances. Right now I am just debating racing frequency and using the high amount of local races to basically train exclusively until the season starts and then race into shape using weekend races and perhaps the weekly crit series or a targeted once a week interval session. Given my history of burnout and need to train my anaerobic endurance at L6 intensity, I'm unsure of which strategy to pursue. The way I see it, if I decide to race more and use that for training/experience (which honestly at my level would probably help a lot. I have the numbers to be a 3 and I've done very well in 3/4 races before) then I might need to do a few L6 workouts earlier in the season/build cycle and then cease to do them once racing picks up. I have two weeks after Battenkill until one of the bigger local crits so I was thinking of basically using this as a trough to drop my CTL a bit and then build up slowly for the summer races.

    So there are definitely a lot of points to debate here, but the general idea is that my priority is to avoid burnout, train the one weakness I have identified, and most of all race often and try to race well to get the practical experience I need to move up to the next level. The road races here are about 2 to 2.5 hours as a 3 and 4 and the crits are an hour, but very, very fast since its really flat and there are a lot of diesels. There is an equal number of both, so I can't really just target one or the other, but the road races all have short, punchy climbs so it seems like the qualities needed might be similar.

    My volume during the summer was extremely high because, lets face it, if you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour the Alps like that you'd take it. I never had a real aerobic base coming into the sport and I figured that if that didn't get me one nothing would. I can definitely use a lower training volume during the season and will have to since my job hours have changed and I am no longer a student. My worry last year was that I did all my programming myself and I was constantly worried about my lack of base and properly periodizing per the literature in the base, build, race L2/L3, then L4, then L5 and L6 format.

    In the end, my priority is to figure out the best build format, but also figure out what to do about dropping my CTL and starting my base training back up.
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    For someone with seemingly no aerobic base coming into the sport an FTP of significantly higher than 300watts is pretty handy and 9w/kg for 1 minute is Cat1/2 territory.

    But in the above post I think you're just overthinking Cat4.

    With those numbers that you're posting, you should have no problems whatsoever in the Category you're in providing that you gained those numbers riding in a similar position on the bike while testing as you do in the race (some people put out better numbers sitting up climbing than they can in a tuck) and your nutrition is appropriate. The volume of training you've done should mean that you'll have no issues either.

    Even though you think that you're continuously over threshold in hard crits, the bottom line is that you're probably not over threshold for a massive period of time - especially in Cat4 events, given the power numbers you quoted if they're accurate - a 5sec value for a Domestic Pro and Cat1 values for 1 and 60 minute.

    The killer for most is the inability to repeat very hard efforts many times during the course of an event. Do you suffer the most on crits with very tight corners that require a big effort every 20 to 30 seconds?

    My money is on the inability to perform repeated high intensity efforts...

    ... plus if you're fairly new to the sport, extra exposure to racing and sitting comfortably in the middle of a pack taking it easier is always going to help.
     
  6. KWalker

    KWalker New Member

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    Yes, I am terrible at technical crits and I don't do well when I have to do efforts that require a massive acceleration from tempo/threshold to L6, then back to threshold, then L6 and so forth. I think my natural ability is there, but that every time I've tried to train these in tandem I seem to overtrain. I'm just interested in how to best obtain a proper base/build training balance that might leave me with more in the tank to address my specific limiters.
     
  7. smaryka

    smaryka Member

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    I only skimmed your (extremely long! for a forum) posts but read the replies. I have to agree you're way overthinking this. Are you on a team? Do you have a coach?

    If you have a team around you, you can learn from them how to race. If your numbers are what they are, there's NO reason why you can't be better in cat 4 races. Sounds to me like you need some practise conserving energy, or in crits, getting stuff like positioning/cornering right. How much time do you spend on the front, how many breaks do you chase down, how well do you hold a wheel, do you sit near the back and constantly suffer the concertina effect at corners, or are you constantly needing to expend energy to move up the field because you keep finding yourself out of position? etc. etc.

    Fwiw, I have an FTP of 4.5w/kg, with 5 min of 5.8w/kg and 1 min of 8.5w/kg and 5 sec of 15w/kg. All this on actual FTP watts of 240. I can hang with cat 3 men (in the UK, equivalent to cat 4 US) both in technical crits and in road races, and my only risk of being dropped is on long downhills. I'm a pretty good technical racer though. Of course, I'm not winning and it's a tough workout but I'm not getting killed either. So your numbers are there, it's something else.

    See if you can take a course or get someone to show you better race skills and tactics. I'm guessing that's what's letting you down. Or just ask the guys you race against what they honestly think of you as a racer. They might be able to give you some good insight as to what you're doing wrong. You sound like the classic guy with lots of power and blows everyone away on training rides, but who ends up with no results because he doesn't know how to race.

    Regarding feeling like you're burning out, you'd do better showing your PMC to someone who can give you honest feedback of whether you really are overreaching sometimes, or just one of those people who can't handle volume, or putting too many hard workouts back to back. There's a gentle balance in road racing of keeping a good CTL but being fresh for racing. There's no sense in racking up 600 TSS Mon-Fri then expecting to race full-on and do well on the weekend. Many people find it difficult in the season to maintain tons of CTL if they are racing all the time, that's why they start the season with so many base miles in their legs, knowing that they will lose some of it as it goes on. In your case, I'd consider racing as training and race as much as possible. You'll only improve by doing it.
     
  8. KWalker

    KWalker New Member

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    I'm on a team, but we don't have a coach and its a newer team with mainly 3's and 4's. I've raced quite a bit, but didn't have a team last year and I moved around a lot so I did a lot more riding than racing. You're right in the technical aspect of things, which made it seem like it might make more sense just to race more. I was thinking of pursuing that route, but more racing= more stress and might not give me a good chance to develop my limiters. I can't afford a coach right now and just sold my powermeter anyways, so it'd be hard to get both. I have all of my performance manager charts and its clear that I ramped up too much too fast, but also some of my lower TSS L6 workouts are quite a bit harder for me to recover from than a L2 ride with a higher TSS. I know fatigue takes time to accumulate, but a 90 minute L6 interval session leaves me not wanting to stay awake while I can do a 4 hour base mile ride and feel fully energetic and not fatigued at all. So therein comes the delicate balance of neural fatigue and then the general TSS fatigue and stuff and I guess my key question is if and when I should address my limiter of L6 effort repeatability so that I can improve this weakness yet still remain fresh.
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Say what again? Just re-read what you wrote. Essentially you put "I'm terrible at crits and don't do well when doing lots of repeated hard efforts but I think my natural ability is there."

    Your natural ability is not there and it (repeated hard efforts) is the achilles heal of nearly every new racer.

    You don't have the depth of training to train both effectively nor do you have the requirement (Cat 4 looking towards Cat 3 this year) to do both in tandem during training. You're training for Cat4 like you're intending to race Cat1 in a month or two.

    Training is supposed to be progressive overload - not complete annihilation via thermonuclear weapon. Your training plan seems to be the cycling equivalent of watering the front lawn by smashing down the local dam.

    How do you get better at doing lots of hard repeated efforts? Do lots of hard repeated efforts with short rests.

    5x2mins - 1 minute rest.

    10x1min - 1 minute rest.

    12x30 sec - 30 seconds rest.

    The rest in between blocks is up to you - but we used to do either 2 or 5 minutes. The 30 seconds efforts at the end were maximal, done in a single gear. You really wouldn't want to add that within a ride.

    Another part of the issue maybe is lack of experience which may be causing you to work too hard for too long and the lower Cat mentality of "everything needs to be chased right NOW!!!" Cycling is like poker on wheels - sometimes you gotta keep your cool and let others do the grunt work. If a move goes and you honestly think it's "money time" and you have no legs to follow, go at 80% of what you think you need to go at - people will follow you and come past, just make them come past on the windy side and let them do the work.

    You didn't sell the powermeter to buy more bike stuff did you?
     
  10. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    I'm so afraid that this will be me in a year. Thank God my team has a coach/DS and tons of more experienced guys to help me out. And thanks to my internet guru's Swampy and Dave.

    KWalker, you need some perspective, you spent a season training with too much workload and failed to achieve anywhere near your potential in races... and sold the single best tool for managing workload!?!


    Also, you want to train your weaknesses and race your strengths, if you are killed by hard accelerations and lack technical skills why would you choose to focus on punchy road races and crits? Certainly use those races as training,particularly for anaerobic/skills sessions, but look for races that suit your style and abilities to be your most important goal races. A RR with a long sustained climb or a 3-4 day stage race where your ftp would really help with the TT.
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't go as far as too say that I'm a guru... LOL. I've been there an done it before and just pass on a few words to make sure that you don't fall down that slippery slope either. Thankfully, I hooked up with a really good coach when I raced and things progressed nicely thereafter...
     
  12. KWalker

    KWalker New Member

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    I have to focus on that because that's all there is here! We don't have a sustained climb within a few hundred miles and none of the races have anything close to one in there. So, I have to train for what I'm racing, which is the same basic thing.

    Now I said technical crits for a reason. I've done very well in wide open crits and circuit races which had lots of accelerations, but my point was both that technical races are hard because I lack technique and also because I get tired out.

    I need to sum this up better. Its obvious I can produce big efforts, but not that many of them. So it makes sense to prioritize this. It also makes sense just to get some more racing in to remedy the lack of skills. I'm at the crossroads of how to prioritize both without doing one so much that the other suffers. To this effect I am trying to figure out how to structure my base training to start including these types of efforts without burning out too fast. Perhaps do 1 of these interval sessions for a 3 week block before my first few races, then let the racing take care of it? I often overdo it with too little rest, too high of frequency, too much volume or all of them. So I want to figure out when, how much, and whatnot and how to go about this the right way so I'm not too burned out to race, but not targeting skills that won't help me.

    Yes, I sold the powermeter to afford a frame that fit me since my old one did not. I would like to get one in the near future, but I have other life priorities right now. Thankfully I have loads of HR data and anecdotal evidence and I spent a lot of time calibrating my PE to Power so I have a good hang of things (enough to help me out). I can do tests periodically on a computrainer, so I can also track benchmarks this season if need be.
     
  13. SteveI

    SteveI New Member

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    90 minutes L6!!! I'm not surprised you're dead after that! My L6 sessions last 12 minutes, I do 6 x (60 really hard, 60 recovery). With warm up and some moderate riding afterwards it still comes to an hour total with NP slightly higher than FTP, so 100 TSS, and I can't see any reason to aim for more TSS than that for such a session if you're only aiming for 88-120 CTL.

    The other day I did 687W for 52 secs at a similar weight to you, 70kg, i.e. my 1 minute w/kg is similar to yours. I consider my performance for short efforts like that to completely suck, I don't care what the WKO+ power profile says, I get absolutely slaughtered in hill climb competitions. I did one the other month where I did 2:25 at 508W. The winner did 1:45. The decent road racers were under 2 minutes. Now, I've never actually road raced myself, but I don't see how my w/kg over short durations could possibly be enough to survive in the higher cats when those guys are 30-40 seconds faster than me up a hill that takes me 2:25. So what I'm saying is, I don't see how your 1 minute w/kg is going to be enough to compete at a decent level, and I would say that you must, therefore, stop neglecting that aspect of your training.
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    It's very rare that racers go anywhere near their maximums for short durations like one to two minutes during mass start races. I race at 70kg and have never broken 500 watts for a full minute of any road race or crit and that includes leading out the last lap and sprinting to podium finishes and wins at the US cat 3 level and even some 1/2/3 races. Sure higher L6 power could be useful in a lot of situations but you shouldn't need anywhere near 500 watts for two minutes or 650+ watts for a full minute to race amateur mass start events at least on this side of the pond.

    To the OP, your numbers are huge for a Cat 4 racer looking to upgrade to the 3s. Keep training both strengths and weaknesses of course but if you're struggling in events and coming anywhere near the numbers you've posted I'd pay a lot more attention to tactics and doling out your efforts strategically than hoping to raise those numbers substantially. If you aren't coming close to those numbers on race day then I'd look to freshness, tapering and overall load management as others have suggested.

    Your engine is fine, focus on the driving part...

    -Dave
     
  15. KWalker

    KWalker New Member

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    Not 90 minutes at L6, but a 90 minute session total, with L6 intervals in there.

    DaveRyan: That's my goal. I don't expect to get my numbers that much better, but I'd like my training to be geared towards continuing to improve my threshold and anaerobic endurance while using my racing to teach me the rest. I just want some advice I guess on how people would recommend when to start the intervals given my first races are at the end of March/start of April, which to prioritize, and perhaps whether or not to keep training them while racing, or just use the racing for that given my history of burnout. I know what I need to do, but when and how much are the problems I often face.
     
  16. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    You got slaughtered not because of your power but because of your weight. I'm taking a stab in the dark here and guess that due to the time of year and the fact it's short hill climbs that you're in the UK somewhere. The fast lads up the hills tend to be 140lbs, max. Most of the national caliber guys are mid 130's and less... and can put out the watts.

    But the OP has stated that he has no hills for miles therefore his big problem is dealing with what happens after 15 minutes of razzing around tight crit courses or after the 5th big attack and repeated hard efforts. It's not the fact that he doesn't have the power it's more probable that he can't react after many big efforts.

    The OP has me beat on power - and I didn't have that when I raced fairly seriously a while back but that didn't stop me from becoming a 1st Cat... then again I was low 140s.
     
  17. JibberJim

    JibberJim Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by swampy1970 .
    You got slaughtered not because of your power but because of your weight. I'm taking a stab in the dark here and guess that due to the time of year and the fact it's short hill climbs that you're in the UK somewhere. The fast lads up the hills tend to be 140lbs, max. Most of the national caliber guys are mid 130's and less... and can put out the watts.


    In the event Steve was talking about, there were plenty of guys at 70-75kg's around 2 minutes, yes the winner was likely near 130lbs, but he was only 15, the 3rd place guy is 63kg (2nd place no idea). And as we're talking w/kg from the WKO+ charts, having extra KG for the same watts is only an advantage (higher absolute watts better for the same w/kg and less impact from the near fixed weight of the bike) My experience in UK races as I said before is that 9 w/kg for a minute leaves you struggling if there are ~1-2 minute selections, I cannot compete in such races with my power there (even though I can repeat the kind of sub-max 1 minute effort pretty well.)

    Dave said earlier that he's never had to do 500watts for 2 minutes, in one 2/3 race this year the selection on the hill took me 2 minutes (@74kg), I did 500 for 2 1/2 minutes, even managed to back that up and continue with 350 for the next 2 1/2 minutes giving me 420 for 5 minutes - within 15 watts of my best ever 5 minute power at the time and all that got me was back into the chase bunch of ~15 riders with the break of 10 down the road. I consistently see that I lose out in races with 9 w/kg for a minute and 7 w/kg for 2 minutes. So you do need more than that to do well in big 2/3 amateur races - obviously you're not going to be out of the back dropped from the main bunch with such power, but you'll not be winning points or money either. The WKO+ chart may say it's good, but I'm either chasing back on or have surfed to the back of the pack with such numbers.

    Of course the OP is in a lower cat, in a different country, racing different races, and maybe it is different, but I don't see why UK guys would have a different power profile. I still believe he mostly needs to race more and get experience, all the numbers are good enough to play a more than active part in races, and if he can't, either the numbers are wrong, or he wastes way too much energy, train how to race, not to get the numbers up.
     
  18. KWalker

    KWalker New Member

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    Yah, I definitely want to get experience from racing more, but I also want to know how to integrate training this quality to better prepare me for my early season races.
     
  19. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The difference between 1 minute and 2 minutes is huge. 9w/kg for 2 minutes is an epic effort - for 1 minute it'll test the legs of a 1st Cat but not break them.

    My experience in UK racing (back in the day when road racing was done by the BCF and time trials the RTTC) was with those power numbers posted he could be a 1st Cat IF he could repeat those efforts... not Star Trophy winning 1st Cat rider but a not too shabby regional rider.

    As Steve said - he hasn't road raced so I'm wondering if his 1 minute data for his w/kg was taken from an effort on the flat or on a hill. (687W for 52 secs). If it was a steep hill that Steve was racing on for his 2:25 effort then 500w and 70kg isn't gonna cut the mustard but it all depends on what the hill was like - the average power number doesn't say it all. If it was a steep hill that gets steeper, something like Park Rash, Winnats Pass, Rosedale Chimney or Ramsbottom Rake then if you blow in the last 400 yards then you bleed time by the bucket load.

    Andy Coggan didn't just pull numbers out of thin air when he constructed the Power Profile chart. They are, from what I understand, pretty accurate.
     
  20. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I think you're doing too much.

    Improvement comes from walking the fine line between training hard and recovery. If you don't train hard enough you'll never approach your full potential but if you don't rest (recover) enough you'll not be able to train appropriately to get there either. It sounds like you're trying to do too much too soon. You have some awesome power numbers but you need to go out and race, gain some experience, have some fun and learn. At this stage it's all about learning and having fun - go an have a go, see what happens. Try and rip the legs off the bunch going up hill, see who follows. Try it on the flat, watch again. Watch and learn. It's as much about how good you can ride as it is about how much your opponents want to ride.

    For Cat 5 through 3 you really don't need a massive amount of training if you have a natural affinity for racing bikes. The power numbers you posted, if they are correct, suggests that you'll do well.

    Every race doesn't need to be, nor should it be, the be all and end all. 9 months is a long time to try and do well each year so unless you have a specific early season race to do well in (say a road race in your home town that you want to impress the friends and family with) then I'd treat early season racing as a chance to blow the cobwebs out of the lungs and to suck wheels and grit your teeth just like everyone else.

    As for the training - you need to be somewhat fresh for short hard intervals, otherwise its a waste of time. I can't tell you how fresh you'll feel during your regular training but unless you're a seasoned rider I would suggest an easy day the day before, maybe nothing more than riding around at conversation pace for 90 minutes... You need to be able to put the hammer down throughout all those intervals and while the session may not look all that long those 1 minute and 30 seconds efforts, if done properly, are mentally and physically very very hard.

    But don't try and rush progress. Just get through the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the season without doing what you did last year (ie way way too much) and you should be fine.
     
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